Friday, June 17


My dad occasionally talks about the various things that my mother taught him when they met.  They met when he was well into his adult life, and yet he still did not know how to open a bottle of wine, appreciate a meal NOT made from a can or some sort of frozen dinner, or eat an artichoke.  I guess the artichoke thing is kind of acceptable, but I have grown up on these weird vegetables (turns out they are vegetables) so I think it is a little strange.

Artichokes are actually flower buds that have not yet bloomed and are technically thistles.  They are really low in calories but have something like 16 essential vitamins and minerals.  Now we know that artichokes (carciofo in Italian... isn't that a great word??) are full of antioxidants, but historically people have used them for everything from aphrodisiacs to deodorant.  Yay..


however many artichokes
splash of vinegar

Pour a decent amount of water into a pot that will hold all the carciofi.  The artichokes will float, so there should be enough water that they are comfortably chilling.  Splash a bit of vinegar into the pot as well (this will prevent the artichokes from browning unpleasantly).  
Bring the water to a boil, cover, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until they are done.  You'll know that the artichokes are done when you can slide a knife through the center and the artichoke meat is tender.
Remove them from the water and eat hot or cold, possibly with something in which to dip such as mayonnaise or melted butter.  
(You eat an artichoke by scraping the meat off the leaves with your teeth.  When you get towards the center, you can remove all the remaining leaves at once and eat the ends.  Then scrape all the chokey bits off with a knife and enjoy the artichoke heart - the BEST PART.)

it is actually kind of frustrating that they float

I will forever associate this song with San Francisco because of some movie that the deeply impressionable me watched when I was younger.  There was a giant shot of the city's skyline as the opening riff to Glenn Miller's "In the Mood":

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